This is the second year that the Commercial Photography students have photographed for the Ellen Trout Zoo Calendar.

It all started with a request for my students to photograph animals at the Zoo from LISD Carolyn Beavers, who is also on the board of directors for the Zoo. It was a great opportunity to introduce students to animal/wildlife photography. They worked with using 75-300mm zoom lenses and we discussed the challenges of photographing in a zoo environment. Students practiced focusing through glass and fences around campus. I actually used a stuffed animal for these exercises, which sounds pretty silly, but it turned out to be quite effective. They also photographed the owl decoy under Abe Martin Stadium to mimic the lighting conditions at the Zoo, which helped to understand what ISO and shutter speed they would be using. The students were allowed to select an animal of their choice to photograph, which helped to cover a wide variety of animals and gave them some ownership in what they were photographing. It was definitely a real-world experience for the students and quite challenging. The entire shoot occurred in a single class period (x4). That meant loading students and camera equipment on to a school bus, entering the Zoo and locating their animals (we reviewed maps of the Zoo in class), studying the lighting, getting their shot, and then back on the bus to return to LHS before the end of class. Mrs. Henley from the Zoo arranged for free entry for all of the students and Mrs. Lowery with the Friends of the Zoo made the selections and created the calendar layout. The Zoo graciously provided a free calendar to the students whose works were selected. Calendars can be purchased at the Zoo gift shop for $5. Stop by N107 if you’d like to look at one. All-in-all it was an awesome experience for the students and an opportunity for several of them to be published, which is great for a resume’. ~Sean Dupre’